A Girl Bartender Tells All: Why I Serve Your Drinks, Not Your Ego

To all the overconfident drunk guys at the bar,

I’m writing today based on the time we have shared over these past legal (or potentially illegal) weekends of your life. I have loyally served you drinks at the flash of your smile (or the angry waving of a twenty for that matter). I have tolerated your catcalls, and gave you the same incorrect phone number for months now. I have dealt with the cursing and slurs after refusing to serve you, but your generous tips can only silence me for so long. Now, due to the fact that I wear bras and heels, I’ll be writing this from a female perspective, but you’re a fool to think that my male counterparts don’t feel the same way.  

No, I’m not a stripper or a prostitute, and no, my occupation by night does not even remotely mirror my 9-5. I’m a bartender, and according to my job description, I’m supposed to serve you drinks. With that being said…I’m NOT required to make out with you, or tell you you’re hot, or (my personal favorite) go home with you. Or anywhere with you for that matter. Nevertheless, so many club-goers/bar-hoppers/partiers have this misconception that bartenders are looking for something to do once their shift is over (if you know what I mean…). For some, that may be the case, but I can attest that for most, it is NOT.

It may come as a surprise, but many bartenders do not bartend for a living. Instead, like most nightlife jobs, it’s a second or maybe even third income to support some other aspect of one’s life. School, travel, kids, dogs, cats…whatever it may be. And the same way that truant student is a nuisance to a teacher, an overly aggressive drunk guy is a nuisance to a bartender. Having to tell someone “No” repeatedly is not only exhausting; it usually causes some sort of scene. And the last thing you want is me to give my security guard the look… Because we both know that will end with you in the cold, on the sidewalk. Technically, so long as I am the one providing you alcohol, you are MY responsibility. And the last thing I need is a lawsuit because I gave you one too many shots. If I cut you off, it’s for a reason.

So what am I getting at?

It’s quite simple: let bartenders do their job. That doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t talk to them beyond “I’ll have a gin and tonic please,” but read the situation. If she wants to chat, she will make it clear. If not, TURN AROUND. You’re in a nightclub, Einstein, and chances are, there are dozens of wonderful ladies who would gladly love to give you a moment of their time. Oh, and here’s a tip: just because she flashes you a sweet smile, and bats those false eyelashes, does NOT mean she “wants the D.” A large portion of what we pocket from the evening is based on tips. So as much as it kills your ego to hear this, she’s probably smiling at the guy in line behind you…and the guy behind him. Lastly, the excuse “I was drunk” is no exception. Some of what I have witnessed could definitely be considered sexual or verbal assault. How well do you think the excuse “I was drunk” would hold up in court?

Moral of the story: BE POLITE. Next time you and your buds hit up the club, and your buddy suggests tequila shots, think twice. What if the girl behind the bar was your girlfriend, would you appreciate your bud whistling at her and grabbing her waist over the bar (which is like the BIGGEST no ever FYI)?  Because although she may not be your girl, chances are she is someone else’s. Or someone’s sister. Plus, she’s definitely someone’s daughter.

This is not some feminist rant, or a generalization that all men are pigs, because you and I know that’s false. This is just a simple call to treat others the way you want to be treated and respect people’s workspace. At the end of the day, a job is a job, and there will always be bullshit you have to put up with. But we can at least try to keep the BS to a minimum, can’t we?

Stay thirsty my friends.

XOXO,

Your favorite beer opener/shot pourer/drink mixer

Featured Image via Brandy Magno.

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